UBS and Credit Suisse to partially postpone dividend payout

ZURICH (Reuters) – UBS (UBSG.S) and Credit Suisse (CSGN.S) have decided to pay out part of their dividend for 2019 later this year after financial markets watchdog FINMA criticised the Swiss banks’ decision to maintain a full payout during the coronavirus crisis.

Both banks on Thursday said they had strong capital and liquidity positions, allowing them to support the Swiss economy and their clients in the crisis and also pay out their dividends, but were bowing to pressure from FINMA.

UBS said it would pay out its dividend of $0.73 in two installments, half of it as a regular dividend and the rest as a special dividend – to be separately approved by shareholders on Nov.19 – after the publication of its third-quarter results.

UBS also said it expected to report a first-quarter net profit of around $1.5 billion, up from $1.1 billion in the year-ago period, with CET1 capital and CET1 leverage ratios in line with its targets and well above regulatory requirements.

The bank is due to report its figures on April 28.

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  • Swiss financial watchdog welcomes UBS' and Credit Suisse's dividend decisions

Credit Suisse said it was revising its dividend proposal and would, instead of a total dividend 0.2776 Swiss francs per share propose a cash distribution of 0.1388 francs per share. Half would be paid from retained earnings and half out of the capital contribution reserves.

It also said it would then propose a second cash distribution of the same amount to be approved by an extraordinary shareholder meeting in the third quarter of 2020.

FINMA said welcomed the decision in a separate statement.

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